Meet Brady S.
Panic and fear. That is how Jeff Stalker describes what he and his wife Cristina went through when their 14-year-old son Brady suddenly struggled to formulate words in December 2020. They immediately drove Brady to HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.
An extremely active and healthy boy, Brady loved playing hockey and volleyball, and was into fishing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. He also enjoyed family time, particularly with extended family at their shared cabin in the Whiteshell. There, he and his cousins used to wake board every summer.
It was a wakeboarding wipeout several months earlier that may have been the cause for Brady’s sudden speech loss.
At HSC Children’s Hospital, doctors did a CT scan to get a medical image of Brady’s brain. The scan revealed a significant amount of blood pooled between his brain and skull. He was diagnosed with a Chronic Subdural Hematoma and needed a critical neurosurgery called a craniotomy the next day. During this surgery, a bone flap was temporarily removed from his skill so his surgeon could access his brain to clear the blood pooling. Two days later, Brady also underwent an embolization procedure performed by a neuro-interventional radiologist to prevent reoccurrence.
“You can never anticipate when you may need their (Children’s Hospital) services and when you do, they are there to help. When we watched the large number of professionals involved in the diagnosis, surgery and recovery we were amazed at the entire experience. We often remarked we were thankful to be in Canada to receive this treatment” says Jeff.
Brady recovered in HSC Children’s CK3 Unit for a few days and then continued healing at home but needed further check-ups at Children’s Hospital to ensure the brain bleed stopped.
Based on his last set of MRI results in January 2021, his surgeon felt no further follow ups would be required as the craniotomy and embolization were successful. However, Brady may be at risk due to the rarity of the injury he sustained wakeboarding and his doctor recommended that he no longer play contact hockey or any activity with a risk of significant head contact. The family is still navigating through this and what it means for their very active child.
“As disappointed as Brady may be at limiting some activities, we are extremely thankful for his health and are looking at adapting to the changes.” says Jeff. Brady has always enjoyed golf and is enjoying that time outside. He also played club volleyball this spring and is happy to still be able to participate in that sport.
The family, including Jeff and Cristina along with Brady’s sister Caitlin are extremely grateful for the support they received from HSC Children’s.
“This was unexpected and shows it could happen to any family at any time,” says Jeff, “We received exceptional care from our initial arrival at Children’s Emergency right up until our release. Doctors and nurses were extremely informative and helpful throughout. And we are extremely thankful that gracious supporters of the hospital are caring enough to help children unknown to them receive quality treatment.”